The Orange County probate process is one that is supervised by the court and involves authenticating the last will and testament of a decedent when they have written one. To properly execute a will, a person’s assets must be located and their value determined. Once this step is completed, the decedent’s last taxes, debts, and bills must be paid off. The remainder is then distributed to the beneficiaries.
The individual who has possession of the decedent’s will must file it with the probate court in a reasonable amount of time, according to state law. When they file, they must also petition to open probate of the estate. The will, death certificate, and petition can all be filed at the same time. The hearing for this filing is important because there may be a more recent will. This gives everyone involved with the settling of the estate the opportunity to object to the will that is being submitted.
In addition to the possibility of a more recent will, others may object due to the will being drafted improperly. They may even object to the appointment of the executor. If there is an issue with the validity of the will, it is usually determined based on witness testimony. In this situation, courts rely heavily on “self-proving affidavits,” signed by a witness and the decedent at the time the will is drawn up. If these affidavits don’t exist, the court will often turn to sworn statements signed by witnesses who declare that they saw the decedent sign the will in question.